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What is 5G network slicing | What is network slicing in 5G

This page mentions 5G network slicing definition, network slicing types or flavors and functions of network slicing in 5G.

What is Network slicing?
There are various definitions of the network slicing. From mobile operator point of view It can be defined as independent end-to-end logical network which runs on shared physical infrastructure which provides negotiated service quality. The technology which enables network slicing is transparent to its business customers.

For example, a 5G network slice spans across multiple parts of the 5G network consisting of 5G terminal, 5G RAN (radio access network), 5GC (core network). The 5G network slicing can also be deployed across multiple operators. A network slice consists of dedicated and/or shared resources e.g. in terms of storage, processing power and bandwidth. One network slice is isolated from the other network slices in the system.

Vertical Network Slicing

Following are the quotes from domain experts regarding network slicing.
➨Bruno Jacobfeuerborn (CTO, Deutsche Telekom): "Network slicing is envisaged as a key enabler to support multiple services in the 5G era..."
➨Chaobin Tang (Presient, 5G product Line, Huawei): "5G network slicing can enable a logical isolated network based on mobile network...operators, vendors and vertical industrial players should cooperate and pave the way for commercializing 5G slicing network.".
➨Ulf Ewaldsson (SVP & CSTO, Ericsson): " ... network slicing technology is critical to enable networks to become innovation platforms for new types of applications and thereby meet the future expectations of people, business and society."

Horizontal Network Slicing

Network Slicing flavors and types

Network slice types are defined based on functional or behavioural perspective. As a result, mobile network operators can deploy single network slice type which fulfills need of multiple verticals or they can deploy multiple different network slice types which are packaged as single product to meet different business customers. Following are the different flavors in network slicing.
• Vertical slicing: This type is industry focused and designed to serve verticals en masse. This is shown in the figure-1. The applications cover public safety, IoT, IPTV etc.
• Horizontal slicing: This type is user, device and app-focused to serve a sea of use cases. This is shown in the figure-2. The applications cover downloads, uploads as well as BE, delay sensitive, capacity sensitive, symmetric traffic types etc.
• Static slicing: These are fixed slices for perpetual use e.g. M2M and IoT.
• Dynamic slicing: It is an evolved approach to deliver slices in real time.

Network slicing can be widely used across industries which include automotive, utilities, logistic, media & entertainment, industrial internet, financial, health, smart cities etc. Network slicing can be customized. Following network capabilities and network services are customized.
• Network capability parameters such as latency, security, energy efficiency, massive connectivity, mobility, reachability, throughput, guaranteed QoS etc.
• Network service parameters such as big data, localisation, edge computing, cloud storage, dynamic charging, platform security, ID management etc.

5G Network Slicing Functions

Following are the functions of 5G network slicing.
• 4G networks do not enable range of services which are needed in the future. The flexibility and fast speed of 5G networks fulfill these requirements with the help of network slicing.
• 5G network slicing enables service providers or operators to build virtual end to end networks to meet vast application requirements viz. mobile broadband (for entertainment), M2M/Massive IoT (for retail shipping manufacturing), low latency critical IoT (for automotive medical) etc.
• It facilitates network optimization for different use cases. It helps in reducing operators CAPEX/OPEX.
• It facilitates automation and programmability.
• It isolates control plane and data plane and hence shared resources can be effectively utilized.

Refer advantages and disadvantages of 5G network slicing >>.


This 5G tutorial also covers following sub topics on the 5G technology:
5G basic tutorial
5G Frequency Bands
5G millimeter wave tutorial
5G mm wave frame
5G millimeter wave channel sounding
Difference between 4G and 5G
5G testing and test equipments
5G network architecture

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